Bauchi - President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said that the Federal Government would set up a referral hospital in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
Jonathan, who stated this while inaugurating a 400-bed capacity Specialists’ Hospital in Bauchi, said the effort was to discourage medical tourism abroad.
"As a Federal Government, we have plans to set up referral hospital in each of the six geo-political zones in the country.
"When established, Nigerians will go to these zones for medical attention, instead of going outside the country," he said.
He added that the federal government would also set up a technical team to come up with strategies on how to properly manage hospitals in the country.
"I have gone to quite a number of states and the state governments have built very good hospitals with modern equipment.
"But equipment without proper management cannot help," he said.
He said his administration would discuss with professional practitioners on how Nigeria would manage its health system to meet global standards.
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He commended Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi for his initiative in establishing a standard hospital and promised to work with the state to move the health sector forward.
According to him, the specialist hospital is well equipped to provide world class medical care to patients.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to strengthen the health sector in the country for quality healthcare delivery and to also curb incessant strike in the nation’s hospitals.
"As a government, we will do our best to come out with programmes and policies that will make doctors earn commensurate wages so that they will be stable and do the work they are paid to do," the president said.
Earlier, Yuguda had explained that the construction of the hospital was awarded in 2012 at the cost of N2.5 billion, following the transfer of the former Bauchi Specialists’ Hospital to the Fedral Government and upgraded to a Teaching Hospital.
He said that the hospital represented a critical investment in the lives of the people, adding that it was initiated to discourage people traveling abroad medical attention.
"Our goal is to assemble multidisciplinary team in the state, with the hope that all the medical resources in this hospital would be accessible to those who cannot afford them," Yuguda said.
He said that his administration had so far constructed and fully equipped 13 hospitals, bringing the total number of general hospitals in the state to 25.
He added that the number of primary health care facilities had also been increased from 881 in 2007, to 1,200 currently.